Second Industrial Revolution: Causes and Consequences

The Second Industrial Revolution started on monday half of the 19th century, between 1850 and 1870, and ended at the end of the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945. This phase of Industrial Revolution represents the beginning of a new period of industrialization, initially lived in England, but expanded for other countries.

The phases of the Industrial Revolution symbolize a new level reached in the development of human civilization, with regard to technological advancements, to the emergence of new industries, as well as productive capacity of each of them. Thus, it cannot be considered that there were ruptures during the Industrial Revolution, but the achievement of new levels of industrialization. This movement was phased Only in didactic terms.

What was it?

The Second Industrial Revolution corresponds to the continuity of the process of revolution at industry. O technique improvement, O emergence of machines and the introduction of new means of production they started a new moment. THE

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industrialization which was previously limited to England, expanded to other countries,such as the United States, France, Russia, Japan and Germany.

O iron, O coal and the steam power, characteristic of the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, now give place to the representatives of the second phase: the steel, a electricity it's the Petroleum.

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The technologies introduced in this period made it possible to mass production, a job automation and the emergence of several industries, especially the electrical and chemical industries. There was also a considerable increase in companies and the improvement of the steel industries.

Atrailways expanded, enabling the flow of produced goods and increasing the consumer market. Appeared, during the Second Industrial Revolution, various inventions that changed the entire social organization and created new relationships, whether these are social, work and even between the human being and the environment.

The new means of production triggered, in this period, the introduction of modes of organization of industrial production who were concerned with producing at lower cost and in less time, that is, the rationalization of work. These modes of organization became known as Taylorism and Fordism. To learn more about this subject, read our text: Fordism and Taylorism.


The main causes of the Second Industrial Revolution were factors related to Bourgeois Revolutions, such as French Revolution and the English Revolution, occurred between the years 1640 and 1850.

These revolutions were based on the liberal thinking and were also influenced by the enlightenment, being responsible for the development of the capitalist relations of production and also by social domination in this period. The bourgeoisie was the ruling class in several countries, although subordinated to the church and the monarchy.

The Bourgeois Revolutions were responsible for the end of the Old Regime and also by strengthening of capitalism, which ended up making industrial development possible. At that time, there was a great technological advance, the installation of new industries and the expansion of production.

O financial capitalism arises during the Second Industrial Revolution, due to the installation of large companies that began to monopolize the industrial and market sectors. O capitalism it then goes to a new phase, just as it goes to represent this period of the Industrial Revolution.

Also know:How did the emergence of the bourgeoisie come about?

relationship with imperialism

The introduction of automated processes and conveyor belts in industries significantly increased industrial production.
The introduction of automated processes and conveyor belts in industries significantly increased industrial production.

The insertion of new techniques, the improvement of new means of production and the increase of factories, despite having boosted the industrial development and increased productivity and profits, ended up generating a lot of unemployment in that period, impoverishing the class hardworking. THE labor was replaced per machines, automated processes and conveyor belts. That is, manufacturing gave way to machinery.

This new reality made the working class not able to consume everything that was produced, which ended up generating a large surplus in production, reducing profits and causing several losses.

You capitalist countries, like Germany and the United States, then needed to expand their consumer market, expanding it geographically beyond European territories. In addition, they also needed to look for enough raw material to supply the production. At that moment, what became known as: imperialism.

Imperialism corresponds to actions and measures taken by countries intending to expand their territories through the domination of other territories. This domination can be of order cultural, politics or economical.


One of the main consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution was the significant increase in productivity in industries.
One of the main consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution was the significant increase in productivity in industries.

The consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution can be seen both in the economy how much in society. Technological development has provided mass production and a new form of work organization, giving rise to new relationships between employers and employees. With the monopoly of large companies, which alone dominated the market, there was concentration of capital and devaluation of labor.

there was the replacement of iron by steel, which then played a key role in industries. Steel started to be used in railways, in the naval industry and in the manufacture of armaments, for example.

Read more:Relationship between industrialization and urbanization

Until the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, the chemical industry had not yet gained prominence, which changed with the beginning of the second phase. In this, medicines, fertilizers, fertilizers, paper and a product diversity that changed people's lives.

THE electricity which, before, was limited only to the development of laboratory research, is now part not only of industries but also of the day by day of the entire population. THE replacement of steam power with electric power it made possible the better development of the industries, as well as allowed the creation of several instruments that would facilitate the production. Electricity was also used for lighting and transport, like eletric train, and made possible several advances in the field of Communication.

O use of oil as power supply it was also responsible for several changes in society and industry. During this period, the combustion engines, gasoline and gas. The gradual replacement of the coal for oil it generated a new meaning to the industry, as the use of the second allowed greater production when compared to the one that uses the first as an energy source.

The introduction of these elements into industry during the Second Industrial Revolution allowed the increased food production with the techniques inserted in the Agricultural production. This one, which used to be subsistence, for the most part starts to serve the consumer market.

Despite these numerous advances, the Second Industrial Revolution provoked some negative changes. One example was the intense rural exodusmotivated by the replacement of labor by machines, causing many workers to leave the rural environment and head to the cities. At that time, the process of urbanization, and with it, some problems started, such as the urban swelling and the slums. O unemployment, which meant a lot of available labor, triggered an increase in poverty, gives violence and the devaluation of work.

Read too: The effects of industrialization

Inventions of the period

  • chemical battery

  • electromagnetic induction

  • filament lamp

  • electric traction

  • Electric motors

  • Submarine communications cable

  • Telephone

  • wireless telegraph

  • radio waves

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a moment that began in the mid-eighteenth century and first lived in england, but which later surpassed the countries of the European continent. This period represented a intense technological advance which modified industrial production, causing changes in the economic, financial and social sector.

In order to facilitate understanding about what the Industrial Revolution meant and its consequences, it is said that there was phases, which corresponded to advances and improvements technologies that resulted in innovations and greater industrial development in countries. To give a complete overview of the Industrial Revolution, we suggest reading this text: Industrial Revolution.

First Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution began in XVIII century and lasted until the middle of the century XIX. This phase was limited to England and was especially marked by the accelerated transformation experienced in the productive sector. The milestones of the first Industrial Revolution were: the use of coal as a source of energy and the emergence of steam machine and of the locomotive. To learn more about the subject, click here: First Industrial Revolution

Third Industrial Revolution

The Third Industrial Revolution started from1945, after the end of Second World War. This phase is also called Technical-scientific revolution. During this period, there was a technological advance that had never been experienced until then. The improvement of techniques covered not only the production process but also achieved the scientific field. stood out the robotics, a genetics, at telecommunications, among other representative elements of the period. To learn more about the subject, click here: Third Industrial Revolution

by Rafaela Sousa
Graduated in Geography
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